This I Believe

Selina - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on April 9, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Saved by the Voice

I believe in listening to instinct. Instinct serves a purpose and should not be ignored.

It was a late night of studying in the library with my group from Spanish class. I wanted to go to my dorm and finish other assignments that sat unfinished on my desk, but our group was having trouble understanding irregular verbs. It would be hours before we were prepared for the exam. After reviewing notes and practicing Spanish conversations as if we were going to be traveling to Spain the next day, we called it a night.

“Why don’t I drop you off?” offered Allison, a classmate who was also struggling in the no ingles allowed Spanish class.

“No, I can cut through campus and be at my dorm.”

“Are you sure you don’t need a ride? It’s almost midnight,” she asked with concern.

“No, don’t worry.”

I began the short distance back. I recalled the warnings of campus police not to walk alone at night. But as a naïve seventeen year old college freshman, I still did not know the possible dangers that existed.

But it was a regular spring night. The air was cool and the stars glittered across the sky. I felt comfortable walking my familiar path. I walked casually, across the grass and onto the road that led to my dorm. The street lights were so dim that I could not see a shadow, and the busy streets were abandoned.

In just one moment, my feelings of ease were replaced with a feeling of dread. I became overwhelmed with anxiety as I began to pick up my pace. I couldn’t understand why, but there was a heavy feeling weighing me down and causing me to sweat.

I listened for footsteps or even a small breath, but heard nothing. I saw no shadows or anything suspicious and tried hard to convince myself that everything was alright. But the feeling intensified. Instinct told me to turn around. I ignored it. Turn around immediately if you want to live, urged the instinct without actually framing the words. I quickly spun around and stood face to face with a madman. Only two inches behind me with his back hunched over, I knew he had been tip-toeing. His left arm was raised and extended over my shoulder…he was just moments away from grabbing me. I saw the devilish look on his face and the evil in his eyes. It was the look of a deranged man, like a snake who had just coiled its body around its prey.

After I turned around and saw him, I screamed so loud the whole campus could have heard. Not wanting to be noticed, he took off and disappeared into the darkness. I ran the rest of the distance to my dorm room. It was that night I promised myself I would never put myself in a situation like that again. More importantly I learned about following instinct, and to this day I haven’t ignored it again